2018 Chrysler Pacifica Review
No other vehicle can match a minivan's ability to comfortably ferry passengers and cargo. But the minivan's utilitarian design and somewhat dorky public image are equally able to put off all sorts of shoppers. For those people, we recommend taking a look at the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica.
Sure, it's still a minivan, but with a curvaceous front end and luxurious cabin, the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica is different from the others, and quite a departure from the capable yet long-in-the-tooth Town & Country it replaced last year. This is the minivan for those who crave more than just function.
Not that the Pacifica lacks the tenets that make minivans unique; after all, it's made by the company that created the modern minivan in the 1980s. In addition to a spacious cabin, roomy third row and ample cargo area, the Pacifica retains one of the Town & Country's best features: Stow 'n Go seats. Most minivans have a third row that neatly folds into the cargo pit to create a flat load floor behind the second row. The Pacifica is the only one with second-row seats that also fold into the floor. In just a few minutes, the Pacifica transforms from an eight-passenger people mover into a two-seater that easily fits 4-by-8 sheets of drywall.
We're equally impressed by the Pacifica's quality cabin appointments, especially in the top-trim Limited model. Soft-touch plastics, stitched trim and supple leather fill the interior, accenting other highlights such as an intuitive touchscreen interface and widely available rear-seat entertainment system. Light pours in through the massive dual-panel sunroof to illuminate the bright two-tone interior. And all the latest advanced driver aids are here, from blind-spot monitoring to an automated parking feature and adaptive cruise control.
There are drawbacks, of course. The nine-speed automatic is a little clunky, and many desirable features are tied to the high-end Limited model. But by and large, the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica is worth your consideration for its enviable interior design, thoughtful cargo solutions, and numerous luxury and safety features.
trim levels & features
The 2018 Chrysler Pacifica comes in six main trim levels: L, LX, Touring Plus, Touring L, Touring L Plus and Limited. The naming can be a little confusing but, as expected, the more expensive the trim level, the more standard features you get. There's also a Pacific Hybrid, which is reviewed separately.
Every Pacifica is motivated by a 3.6-liter V6 (287 horsepower, 262 pound-feet of torque) that sends power to the front wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission. Seven-passenger seating is standard across the board, and eight-passenger seating is optional on all but the L model.
The base L trim level comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, keyless entry (for the driver door only) and ignition, a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring, rear parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert, dual-zone climate control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split folding third-row seat, a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker audio system with a USB port and an auxiliary jack. Tri-zone climate control is available at an additional cost.
The Pacifica LX is equipped with alloy wheels, body-colored exterior trim, a driver information display, an automatic engine stop-start system, an eight-way power driver seat (with four-way lumbar), tri-zone climate control and folding/collapsible second-row Stow 'n Go seats.
Stepping up to the Touring Plus adds automatic headlights, foglights, LED taillights, chrome exterior trim, full keyless entry, remote engine start, power-sliding rear doors, a power liftgate, automatic climate control, satellite radio and a charge-only USB port located in the front row. The 18-inch wheels can be ordered separately.
The next level up is the Touring L. Its standard features include an eight-way power passenger seat (with power lumbar), heated front seats, leather upholstery, a second-row USB port and second- and third-row retractable sunshades.
There are several packages available for the Touring L. The Alpine Sound package adds a 13-speaker audio system and an 8.4-inch touchscreen with HD radio and a third-row USB port. The Advanced SafetyTec package bundles automatic high beam control, front parking sensors, a sound-reducing windshield, automatic wipers, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, an automated parking system, a top-down parking camera and a larger driver information display.
Later in the model year, a navigation system will be available for the Touring Plus and Touring L. For the Touring Plus, it also adds the 8.4-inch touchscreen and its upgrades. Also available for the LX, Touring Plus and Touring L is a rear-seat entertainment system with a DVD player.
The upgraded driver info display and sound-reducing windshield are included with the Touring L Plus, along with two sunroofs (panoramic for the first two rows and an additional fixed sunroof above the third row), a heated steering wheel, heated second-row seats, ambient lighting, the 8.4-inch touchscreen, navigation and the Alpine audio system.
The Touring Plus can be equipped with the Advanced SafetyTec pack, a 20-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, and hands-free operation for the sliding rear doors and liftgate.
All Touring models can be further equipped with 18-inch wheels.
The top-dog Limited comes with 18-inch wheels, xenon headlamps, LED foglights, auto-dimming exterior and rearview mirrors, power-folding mirrors, driver memory settings, ventilated front seats, premium leather upholstery, the hands-free liftgate and sliding doors, an in-vehicle vacuum cleaner and a power-folding third-row seat.
As loaded as it is, even the Limited can be bolstered with additional features. The Advanced SafetyTec package is available here, as is an upgraded rear entertainment system. It combines the 20-speaker audio system with a Blu-ray player, dual 10-inch seatback touchscreens, an HDMI input and a household-style power outlet. Twenty-inch wheels are sold as a stand-alone option.
Available on all models is a secondary driver key that Chrysler calls KeySense. Intended for younger drivers and valets, this key starts the car is a mode that limits top speed and volume, keeps all driver aids activated and restricts user-defined satellite radio channels. The Trailer Tow Group is available on Touring Plus models and above, and it adds a four- and seven-pin wiring harness and a 2-inch hitch receiver.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica (3.6L V6 | 9-speed automatic | FWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Pacifica has received some revisions, including standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Pacifica.
Noise & vibration
Ease of use
Getting in/getting out
Child safety seat accommodation
Audio & navigation
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.